The McKinsey Quarterly has a very interesting article (note: registration required) on the global financial markets:

The McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) has conducted a yearlong research effort on the world’s financial markets and created a comprehensive database of the financial assets of more than 100 countries since 1980. Together, these assets make up the global financial stock.

This research yielded several notable observations. One of them is simply that global capital markets are huge: we calculate that the world’s financial assets now total more than $118 trillion and will exceed $200 trillion by 2010 if current trends persist. The stock of global financial assets has grown faster than the world’s GDP, indicating that financial markets are becoming deeper and more liquid. With a few qualifications, this trend bodes well for the world’s economies, since deeper markets provide better access to capital and improve the allocation of risk.

This supports my gut feel that many markets are awash in money, as evidenced by larger and larger VC deals, and boom-era valuations for some companies. 😉